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DUI Arrests in Vermont

Under Vermont law a person may be arrested for a DUI when an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the motorist was operating or attempted to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs. The vehicle does not need to be in motion for an arrest to occur, also, the BAC of the driver does not necessarily need to be .08 or higher which is the legal maximum. This is because a person may be arrested of a DUI if they are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, thus their BAC may not be equal to or above the legal limit. Also, the vehicle does not need to be in motion because under VT statutory law someone may be convicted of DUI if they operate or attempt to operate a vehicle while under the influence, thus the car does not need to be in motion.

Also, a person may be arrested for a DUI if they are given a chemical test to determine their BAC and their BAC exceeds the .08 limit. In Vermont, exceeding the .08 limit is enough to convict a person for a DUI, it is presumed that they are intoxicated if their BAC is .08 or higher. It is also presumed that if the BAC is tested within a two-hour period before or after the operation of the vehicle that the BAC at the time of the vehicle was that same level was when tested within the two-hour limit. Thus, if you give a breath sample at 10:30 PM and are arrested at 12:00 AM it would be presumed that your BAC level from the 10:30 PM test is the same at the 12:00 AM arrest if another test is not administered.

If the motorist is under the age of 21 or a school bus driver, he or she may be arrested for a DUI if their BAC is .02 or higher. Also, if the motorist is a commercial driver he or she may be arrested for a DUI if their BAC is .04 or higher, this results in an automatic revocation of their commercial license. Unlike other states, in Vermont a BAC level exceeding the legal limit is enough to convict a motorist of a DUI violation.

The Vermont statutory law states that the operation of the vehicle must be on a public highway. However, case law has defined public highway broadly, even to include the private driveway of the motorist as long as it is not secluded or fenced in. This public highway stretches to include is any publicly used area open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.


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